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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning,
I've followed these threads since I bought my 02 X model 3 years ago and they've helped me fix little things here and there and given good advice about parts and vendors. Now I'm stumped by a noise coming from the rear end and I need help figuring out what it is. Here are the symptoms and inspections I've done:
1. Starting out cold, I get a loud clank from the rear when I put the jeep in Reverse.
2. I then get a loud squeak, not unlike a bad pulley bearing I had on the front of the engine.
3. Squeak only occurs under load (e.g. when accelerating), not under coast.
4. Squeak increases in pitch and is inaudible over 30mph.
5. Squeak diminishes with heat and is usually gone by the time I get to work (20 miles on highway at speed).
6. Squeak doesn't seem to be affected by braking or cornering.
7. I jacked up all 4 corners, rotated tires and while off, inspected rear brake shoes, parts and drums and all seems good. Brakes were replaced about 10K miles ago and wear is normal and even with plenty of pad left on the shoes, smooth hub etc.
8. While in the air, I could not duplicate squeak by rotating tires by hand or by starting the jeep and putting in gear (D & R) to let the tires spin. No significant drive train noise could be detected.
9. While in the air, I can rotate the rear drive shaft by hand about 5-10 degrees (e.g. seems like slack in gears?)
10. While on the ground, I can't rotate the rear drive shaft at all.
11. Rear drive shaft u-joints seem fine without obvious signs of a problem and seemingly no play/slack since I can't move the driveshaft while the jeep is on the ground.
12. I sprayed the u-joints with PBlaster and took it for a quick drive and the squeaking seemed to be gone. But after leaving overnight, the clank and squeak are back for the drive to work.

Any ideas? I assume the clank and squeak are separate issues but I suppose they could be related. Is it definitely the rear drive shaft u-joints? Any advice on test/inspection or repair/replacement will be greatly as this is my daily driver. I don't do any offroading and there haven't been any recent driving events which would cause any sort of damage, so I think it's just wear related?
 

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I would replace your u-joints (use Spicer).
 
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